Tag Archives: grad school

The Art of Spooky Music

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently working on my thesis project for grad school, which is a low-fi horror film titled Red Blob Massacre. It will be a silent film, so sound will play a very large role in setting the mood and suspense/quirkiness of the story. In order to give my sound designer the best idea of what I’m going for, I spent some time today exploring music that I think is inspiring and may contribute to the through-line of the piece.

Please enjoy the few below that I’ve included:

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Scuba: “The Upside”

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Tied & Tickled Trio: “Chlebnikov”

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Clark: “Night Knuckles”

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I also love the sound for this video, played by the talented Frank Pahl:

(the video itself is also awesome.)

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And now, your assignment, as an active (or new) reader of my blog. PLEASE! Share at least one song that you find spooky/haunting/suspenseful/quirky/enticing in the comments section below. I appreciate your input, and as much as I love to write this blog and obsess over the site stats, I’d like to get to know you more and what your interests are. AND, it could really help me with my project!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Comic Procrastination

I’m not going to say too much today, because I’m deep in the throes of trying to finish up a grant proposal that’s due tomorrow. In fleeting moments of procrastination over the past two hours, I have collected some entertaining comics that at least for a moment have taken my mind off the grind of asking for money. There’s nothing like a little humorous interlude to put things in perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Links

http://www.graphixia.cssgn.org/2011/07/04/30-who-wears-the-tights-in-this-relationship-selfhood-and-identity-in-grant-morrisons-batman-and-robin/

http://www.buffalorumblings.com/2009/11/26/1171942/happy-thanksgiving-nfl-week-12

http://www.thefunnycartoon.com/funny-cartoon/funny-cartoon/bztoons—cartoon-gallery.html

http://www.funnycartoonpictures.net/postcard.img287.htm

http://www.glasbergen.com/diet-health-fitness-medical/?album=2&gallery=59

http://baloo-baloosnon-politicalcartoonblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/dieting-cartoon.html

The Art of Saying No

The number one biggest challenge of being in grad school is managing time. The open slots when you think you actually have some time to work on your thesis project often are threatened by invitations to dinner parties, art openings, meetings, movie screenings, costume parties, last-minute get-togethers, etc. etc. etc. It’s not that I don’t love all the beautiful people who are doing amazing stuff. And it’s not that I don’t want to go to many of those events. BUT, in order to graduate, I also actually have to get work done. And if I keep filling my work time up with time I have to spend running around trying to make sure that everyone knows how much I love them, the work I have to do is NEVER GONNA GET DONE.

I was inspired in a moment of procrastination today (the other threat to ever finishing my thesis) with an article in tiny buddha (http://tinybuddha.com/) titled “It’s Okay to Say No”. Here are the opening lines of this encouraging (and guilt-freeing) article:

Sometimes I feel immense pressure to do all kinds of things I don’t want to do. The reality is, I often put this pressure on myself. I think about the things I should do. Or the things I think I should want to do. Or the things other people might expect me to do.

And all this thinking can drain me—before I’ve gotten a chance to do anything. This is basically choosing to create anxiety where there could be peace and joy. It’s wasting precious time, feeling conflicted, restricted, and full of angst. (for the full article, go here: http://tinybuddha.com/quotes/tiny-wisdom-its-ok-to-say-no/)

Now that I’m working on learning to say no to things that I just don’t have the time to do, I need to work on how to say no to procrastinating. Does it ever end??!

Here are a few short clips of inspiration on how to say NO:

 

Image Link

http://myrivendell.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/saying-no-to-no-wait-what/ (Saying No to NO! Wait..what?)

The Art of Sitting in an Art Gallery (and watching lo-fi horror films)

So I’m doing a workstudy job of sitting for four hours every Tuesday in an art gallery. This is the first time I’ve ever worked in an art gallery, and lemme tell ya- for the most part, it’s pretty damn quiet. In fact, as I’m writing this blog post now, I’m sitting in the gallery. I can see straight outside all the passerby with their paper coffee cups, earphones and college t-shirts. Some of them glance at the gallery, a few stop, and most walk right by. In the two hours that I’ve been here today, ONE person has stopped in for a VERY QUICK glance at a few paintings while trying to avoid eye contact with me before rushing out again. So, for the most part, I have lots of time to do my own work, like writing spontaneous blog posts and watching lo-fi horror films on youtube.

Here’s a preview of some of the films I’ve been devouring:

“The Stuff” (1985), directed by Larry Cohen

“Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959), directed by Ed Wood

“Robot Monster” (1953), directed by Phil Tucker

“The Horror of Party Beach: (1960s), directed by Del Tenney

Seriously, I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop there for now. Four hours is a decent amount of time to watch this stuff.

I’ve been on a crazy old-school horror film kick for the past few months. It’s funny, because for the most part I’ve never been much of a horror fan- I was the kid who had nightmares for months in 4th grade because of the birthday slumber party that screened Ghost. I’m also the type who squiggles uncomfortably at the slightest drop of blood, and who in general is fearful of imminent death that looms pretty much everywhere. Which is perhaps why my recent interest in lo-fi, DIY horror films is more appropriate; i.e. films that are obviously fake. Fake = not real = it probably won’t ever happen. Which is more comforting than, say, current-day films about real-life serial killers and how they managed to actually slaughter real people like you and me. Thanks, but not thanks. I’ll go for the fake puppet monsters and ice cream containers that explode…

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing today in the art gallery. And just in case you were worried about the future of art in the gallery, there have been a few more people who have wandered in since I started writing this blog post. Luckily, most of them have been more interested in the art than talking to me, leaving me to bathe in my own lo-fi horror watching glory.

The Art of Self Doubt

Every person has their ups and downs. Every artist has her ups and downs too. Yesterday I was up, today I am down. Perhaps tomorrow I will be up again. Nothing is perfect. Every project is always growing and changing. For the past several weeks since I’ve been back in grad school, with this being my last year and my big thesis project looming up in the near future, it’s as if I’ve been on a rollercoaster of new artistic ideas that both excite me and at the same time couldn’t be more terrifying. One day I think I know exactly what I’m going to do, and the next day it’s all up in the air again. I do already have certain elements that I know I want to explore, and am already exploring, but how I want to execute it and the medium(s) that I choose to work with are still in questioning. Yesterday over an amazing pancake breakfast, I wrote nonstop for over two hours what I thought would be the first draft of the film I am (or was) going to make for my thesis. It was invigorating. The words just flowed out of me. They needed to sit on that page. And I felt great about it.. until I went back and read the script in the evening. The second time around, it didn’t seem as exciting as the first. In fact, it seemed so short and simple, not at all what I was really going for….. Today.. well, today I’m torn in between. In a lot of ways there are many elements within what I wrote that excite me. Certainly some new ideas came up from my inspired pancake writings. However, perhaps it is also okay to decide that even though it was inspiring in the moment, and I needed to get those ideas out, I don’t have to stick with the script that I created at all. I can let it go. And go back to the drawing board. And think again. And reassemble. And think again. And doubt again. And then feel inspired and confident again. And perhaps, eventually, string all the ideas that really hit home together and make something out of them. It’s an ongoing process. And it’s not always easy. But that’s a part of art making. Art making is not one continuous inspiration. It can also be hell sometimes. But maybe it’s the struggle that in the end creates the most meaningful work. Because you have to really think about it. You have to doubt in order to believe again.

Photo credit:

http://www.utopia-britannica.org.uk/pages/New%20Harmony.htm